The Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services Program, authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, and implemented in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices throughout the country, is a legislative older worker program for those 55 and older. ACES is a grants-based program administrated through a 5-year umbrella agreement between NOWCC and NRCS.
ACES Program was modeled after the Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
NOWCC has developed this ACES Handbook as an informational tool for the purpose of acquainting you with the policies, procedures, benefits and restrictions that affect your participation in the Agriculture Conservation Experience Service (ACES) Program. This Handbook is also a source of information for USDA-NRCS ACES Coordinators and Monitors.
ACES Program Participants (Enrollees), assist NRCS at its headquarters, state and local offices. Enrollees serve in technical capacities and carry out a variety of assignments.
As a member of this talented group, you will help NRCS preserve, protect, and enhance our natural resources.
For complete information about benefits, policies and procedures, please contact your NOWCC Field Office Staff.
|Ask your Monitor to:||Contact your NOWCC Field Office if you:|
Under the federal statutory structure of the ACES Program, ACES Enrollees do not have employee status with either NRCS or NOWCC. Enrollees are not eligible to receive the benefits accorded to Federal government employees nor NOWCC employees. Enrollees are eligible to receive benefits listed in this enrollee handbook.
Before an enrollee can begin an assignment under the ACES Program an Enrollment Agreement must be executed. Enrollment agreements are between the Participant (Enrollee) and NOWCC.
An hourly increase may be granted by the State Coordinator on the Enrollee's yearly anniversary until a maximum wage for the position level is reached.
|Position Level||Starting Wage Range|
|1||$11.33 - $24.99|
|2||$14.16 - $34.99|
|3||$20.53 - $49.99|
|4||$30.80 - $80.00|
Because ACES Enrollees frequently work in field settings, it is critical that Enrollees adhere to the following guidelines for avoiding accidents:
Report any work-related accident, injury or illness at the earliest opportunity to your Monitor who will contact the NOWCC Field Office with details. The NOWCC ACES Program workers' compensation insurance carrier (The Hartford) will be notified by the NOWCC Field Office if necessary.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if seriously injured.
A resignation should be submitted in writing, with notice, if possible. Remember to address your resignation to your NOWCC Field Office and copy your Monitor.
Prior to Leaving: All NRCS property must be returned to your Monitor.
Last Paycheck: Your final paycheck will be issued to you in the same manner you have requested for all paychecks to be issued. It will include pay for any unused vacation leave (up to 80 hours) and hours worked during your last pay period.